This is a man’s world? Not from where we’re standing. Here are the amazing Irish women nailing their dream jobs – and where you can follow them for major career inspo.
By Rebecca Brennan.
Dr Norah Patten: Astronaut.
Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Tim Peake and Yuri Gagarin all have one thing in common other than travelling to space – their gender. These household
names have gone down in the history of the Space Race whilst almost completely eclipsing the involvement of the many women who also took part. Today, only
six to seven per cent of technical careers in the EU are filled by women. Change is afoot and Cork-born Dr Norah Patten is on track to be the first Irish person in space. One small step for man, one giant leap for womankind.
Follow for: Serious girlboss STEMspiration including throwbacks to her first visit
to NASA as a teenager and lots of follow-your dream goals. @spacenorah
Denise O'Connor: Architect.
Careers in building and construction are typically assigned to men by their very nature. In fact, just three of the world’s top 100 architecture firms
have women at the helm. Denise O’Connor, MD of Optimise Design recognises that this gender divide stereotypically steers men towards architecture and women towards interior design. “In my first three jobs after graduating, I was the only woman in the office other than the secretarial staff. I’m still often the only woman at site meetings – but in my office, it’s the men that are outnumbered.”
Follow for: Beautiful interiors, savvy business advice and architectural beauties from Denise’s current projects. @optimisedesign
Samantha Barry: Editor-in-chief at Glamour Magazine.
The brave new world of online media barely existed a decade ago but now journalists worldwide are getting to grips with this entirely new channel. Thankfully, Irish native Samantha Barry worked leading the charge as Head of Social Media and Strategy at CNN until January of 2018 when it was announced she was to take over at the helm of Glamour Magazine. Her fresh, tech-savvy
approach is set to change the way we digest news, from mobile journalism’s vertical video – think Instagram stories – to 360 virtual reality experiences of major news items, to fashion fresh off the catwalks. Last year Barry’s VR of a refugee camp was the first of its kind, reinstating the empathy and shock factor to news which has been otherwise lost through traditional media.
Follow for: Irish-gal-in-New-York lols blended with high-impact media insights. Fake news need not apply. @sammybarrynews
Susan Boyle and Judith Boyle: Brewers.
There are hieroglyphics from Ancient Egypt that show women brewing and drinking beer and yet somehow, over the centuries, both activities have become firm staples in the male realm. The recent revival of craft beer and the brewing industry in Ireland too has been prolific with young men. Our interest lies with Susan and Judith Boyle however, founders of Two Sisters Brewing which began in 2016. Their beer is made from locally-grown barley and honey that the pair farm themselves. Judith is an accredited beer sommelier and both work at their family pub, Boyles of Kildare, where the beer is available. We’ll cheers to that!
Follow for: The latest in craft beer news, behind the scenes at beer festivals across
Europe and so you can be first to know about the newest hipster ales to hit the market. @2sistersbrewing
Annie Mac: Radio Presenter.
It has been a controversial year for Irish women in radio, with two of the major stations facing criticism for not having any female broadcasters. Communications
Minister, Denis Naughten is considering putting quotas in place to re-balance the gender divide, “I’m looking forward to them [capable female politicians] getting
real opportunities in ministerial roles in the years to come. They have a big impact as role models. Do we need to see that in broadcasting as well? Yes, I think we do.” Of course, BBC DJ extraordinaire Annie Mac has been paving the way, with numerous awards, two albums and a BBC documentary under her belt.
Follow for: London life, in-studio selfies and Annie casually hanging with music’s A-list.@anniemacdj
Pilot: Bernice Moran.
The customary “ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking…” announcement is a familiar sound these days and yet, it is rarely a female voice that crackles over the speaker. Only three per cent of the world’s pilots are women and with basic training costing up to €100,000, it is not a career easily attainable for most. Aer Lingus was the second European airline to introduce female pilots upon hiring Captain Grainne Cronin in 1977 and to this day continues to have
one of the highest ratios in the industry, albeit at a still paltry ten per cent. Bernice Moran is a senior first officer with Virgin Atlantic, flying Boeing 747-400 long haul. Her entrepreneurial spirit also saw her set up The Be Sweet Company – a confectionery business, backed by Richard Branson and now on sale in Dunnes, Avoca, SuperValu and more across Ireland.
Follow for: A perfect mix of sweet treats and mile high glamour. @besweetcompany
Music producer and writer: Ruth Anne Cunningham.
The music industry is a notorious breeding ground for both overt, direct and indirect gender discrimination. Only 16 per cent of UK songwriters are female and
even then, few garner the same kind of attention and celebrity that male writers do. Did you know that songs for artists like Britney Spears, One Direction and
Professor Green were written by Irish singer-songwriter Ruth Anne Cunningham? No, us neither. But we are taking it upon ourselves to sing her praises and achievements; like featuring on the Fifty Shades Darker soundtrack in 2017 and
co-writing Niall Horan’s hit Slow Hands along with many other songs on his debut album, Flicker.
Follow for: A sneak peek at a jet set lifestyle and recording sessions.